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Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Andrew Johnson

SWQ Branch President

Director Operations, CEO Designate, Somerset Regional Council

SWQ Branch committee

Andrew Johnson (Branch President)


Somerset Regional Council

Angela Fry

Manager, Toowoomba and South West  GHD Pty Ltd

Dereck Sanderson (Vice President)

District Director, Darling Downs

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Maddy Stahlhut (Ambassador)

Civil Engineer

GHD Pty Ltd

Cameron Ives

Professional Engineer

GenEng Solutions Pty Ltd

Shelley Burchett

Assets Manager

Proterra Group Pty Ltd

Luke Tanner

Manager Works

Goondiwindi Regional Council

SWQ Branch Presidents Report
June 2021

While it seems like some time ago, the 2021 SWQ Branch Conference 17-19 March was a huge success with a record 203 delegates. Thank you to everyone who joined us in Chinchilla, and particularly for the many words of advice for Dereck Sanderson [District Director (Darling Downs) at TMR] – on the impact of the extended wet weather on the Warrego Highway which I’m sure Dereck appreciated.

I was also at the right place at the right time, to celebrate my 50th birthday with colleagues, a cake and a song proving that engineers for the most part should not sing even for a birthday. Thank you everyone – I really enjoyed the day with you, and thank you GenEng Solutions for sponsoring the conference dinner which I’m sure was organised especially for my birthday.

The Best Paper award was won by Cameron Ives, Director at GenEng who relayed how Murphy’s Law had applied to resealing contracts in the Darling Downs which included severe drought, bushfires, an onsite safety incident, wet weather, a flooding event, road closures and a global pandemic. It was widely believed that Cameron deserved the award just for reliving the project for us.

Cameron’s presentation, and other high quality, high value and varied papers delivered in Chinchilla, can be accessed in the Knowledge Centre – complimentary access for all IPWEAQ members and for non-member delegates. It is a great benefit to be able to access these proceedings, not just from our own regional conference but all other IPWEAQ Branch conferences every year. All content in the Knowledge Centre is searchable by subject, key word, author, file type etc.

The Chinchilla Botanic Gardens delivered a damp Tech Tour (with obligatory watermelon) of this award-winning project (2020 IPWEAQ Excellence Awards for Projects $5-$10 million). There is just over two weeks to nominate for an excellence awards so please ensure all the great projects we’ve delivered for our communities are highlighted in this year’s awards program.

And to celebrate the nominees and winners, be sure to register early for the gala awards ceremony held in conjunction with the Annual Conference – contact Monica Robertson. We’ll be back in Cairns for the first time in eight years although we have regularly been reminded of the 2013 Annual Conference in Cairns with its highly publicised delegate gift.

Coming up next in our region will be the Rural Road Maintenance & Rehabilitation Forum in Dalby in August. Further details to be published next week. There are 150,000 kilometres of rural roads in Queensland and most of us working in the south-west have responsibility for many of them.

The rain I mentioned earlier delivered some good for our region, aside from its impact on the Warrego Highway, with the Storm King Dam and Connolly Dam now at capacity bringing an end to Seren McKenzie’s water carting project and Seren doesn’t seem at all disappointed.

I hope to see many of you in Cairns in October for another memorable IPWEAQ Annual Conference.

Andrew Johnson
SWQ Branch President

IPWEAQ members and delegates of the 2021 SWQ Branch conference can now access the conference proceedings via our globally-recognised Knowledge Centre